Itani Benkyodo

Itani Study Hall: Food for thought

By JapanTravel Guest    - 2 min read

After browsing at the library, reward yourself with some food at Itani Benkyodo. Its just across the street from the library, which might be why it gets the name (Benkyoudo means study hall). To the east lies the station, to the west a small river that runs through the middle of town. This stream runs along the Green Grounds and the Saijo Welfare Center, and makes a wonderfully scenic walk through Saijo. Between the river and exhibition center is a public artesian well always surrounded by locals filling up bottles of water. The neighborhood is so pleasant, and when you are in area its always wonderful to treat yourself at Benkyodo.

First of all come the sweets. There is a pick up window in front of the shop with a shady waiting area. Here someone can always be seen waiting for their ice cream to be made or their filled pastry (太皷まん) to be cooked. You can choose from any number of fillings for your pastry, and it will be served hot and moist in minutes. The ice creams are all premium soft serve, coming in a huge variety of flavors like black sesame, matcha, cookies'n'cream, mango (with bits of actual fruit), and much more. If that's not enough for your sugar craving then there is always the candy which is found in plenty.

For those wanting a real meal, you are in luck. Plenty of heavy food to fill the corners of your belly present themselves as options. Okonomiyaki, big enough to fill near anyone, served for 500 yen, 15 balls of takoyaki for the same price, a daily lunch set that will challenge your belly for 500-700 yen; this place was meant to fill hungry hunters for cheap. Most of the customers come in the daytime, and are students from the high school or middle school. Bicycling between sports clubs and cram school, their ravenous hunger can only be fed by Benkyodo. You, the customer, benefit from the target audience's pubescent bottomless stomachs. You can drop a single coin on the counter and leave cradling your bulging stomach. And it is all delicious, no amount of sauce or topping is neglected. Healthy? Maybe not. Tantalizingly delicious? Absolutely.

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